By Jordan White
What a great game for Texas State Baseball. The No. 30-ranked Texas State team hosted the Incarnate Word at Bobcat Ballpark for the first matchup between the two teams this year. Texas State was coming into the game 11-1 in the last 12 games and 13-5-1 overall. Incarnate Word came into the game with an overall record of 12-10 looking for consistency.
It was a hot start for the UIW who got out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the third. The Cardinals pitcher Jake Zatopek had a dominant performance against the Bobcats who could not muster a run during his start. Zatopek went 4.1 innings, no runs and two hits.
Texas State batters did not wake up until the bottom of the seventh, a home run hit by struggling first baseman Ryan Newman. Newman’s solo home run (first of the year) gave Texas State momentum they did not have all game. The Cardinals quickly responded hitting their own home run to give themselves a two-run lead again in the top of the eighth. The Bobcats did not seem phased by the home run pulling together an effort that tied the baseball game 3-3 going into the top of the ninth.
Incarnate Word looked to seal their victory over Texas State by scoring twice in the top of the ninth to lead the Bobcats 5-3, but Texas State would not go away. In the bottom of the ninth, senior Jared Huber led the comeback by hitting a one-out single. The next hitter Mickey Scott was hit by a pitch giving Texas State a man on first and second with one out. Junior Jonathan Ortega was able to load the bases with an infield single, setting the stage for the Bobcats. Senior Derek Scheible hit a RBI sacrifice fly to right field bringing in Huber from third base. Senior Luke Sherley at the plate drew a walk to load the bases back up with two outs. Junior Jaylen Hubbard came into the clutch ripping a double to the left corner bringing home Scott and Ortega to seal the walk off winner.
The walk off win is the third of the season for the Texas State baseball team. This being the second one in a week. Texas State walk offs have come against Stephen F. Austin on March 4 and Appalachian State on March 17.
Ortega had a season high four hits and scored two runs against the Cardinals. Sherley and Hubbard finished the game with two hits, and Scheible and Hubbard also finished with two RBI’s.
UIW Ridge Rogers went 4-for-5, while Kyle Bergeron, David Anaya and Lee Thomas contributed two hits. David Anaya also drove in three runs.
Incarnate Word’s pitcher Zatopek gave up no runs on two hits, pitching 4.1 innings and will finish with a no-decision. He had four strikeouts and one walk. Bernie Martinez will pick up the loss (2-2) giving up five runs on seven hits in 1.2 innings.
The Bobcats will now go on the road to face their true test No.27 ranked Coastal Carolina March 23-25 in Conway, S.C.
Featured image by Nicole Wolf.